It was a full house at Monday’s Mayes County Commissioners meeting, and the main topic was redistribution of fire department funds.
“We need to take care of everyone and I don’t think it’s right the way it’s being divided,” said District 1 Commissioner Alva Martin.
The subject was tabled at the Nov. 13 board meeting.
“Since we tabled it, I’ve looked into it and I don’t think now is the time to re-distribute it,” said District 3 Commissioner Ryan Ball. “I think if we look into the functioning fire board we’ll find some answers,” said Ball.
“The three of us were elected to look after the best interest of the citizens. We answer to the citizens of Mayes County,” said District 2 Commissioner Darrell Yoder . “I believe it has been unfairly distributed considering the amount of runs each department takes. It’s not fair, it’s not equal.”
Yoder discussed the number of runs each department makes, as well as their equipment versus their ISO rating.
“This all sounds logical overall, but when you look at the big picture, some of these small departments are surviving just on tax money,” said Ball. “Taking from a small department to give to a big one is not the answer.”
Martin then explained that larger departments are running to cover fires for smaller departments. The larger one uses their resources, but the smaller one gets the money for it.
“Something has to be done. Some of these departments are buying equipment that doesn’t benefit the citizens. This change won’t shut anyone down, I assure you,” said Martin.
Ball reiterated he would like to gain information from the existing fire board.
“They don’t want to lose any money. They are more concerned with their departments than with the citizens. I know exactly how it will go when you talk to them,” said Martin.
After input from the people in attendance, Yoder wrapped up the discussion.
“We have called an audit. We will be in touch with the auditor this week. I make a motion to table this one more week until we talk to the auditors,” said Yoder.
Ball made a motion to strike it from the agenda.
“I would rather send it to a vote of the people than strike it from the agenda,” said Yoder.
Martin seconded Yoder’s motion to table the issue one more week, pending response from the auditors. Ball voted no.
The board discussed, and approved, the change of Holidays for 2013. The only change appeared to be trading Columbus Day for a day in December.
The Jail Use and Dispatch Agreement for Spavinaw was approved.
The board discussed the proposed action concerning the reappointment of floodplain board members. Mike Sisemore, Bud Osborne and Ronnie Hilton were reinstated. Eddie Peters and Mike Dunham are not being changed.
The commissioners discussed the approval of the Independent Contractor Agreement for bridge 101 over Snake Creek.
This is in District 3 between Snake Creek Road and Iron Post Road.
“The bridge is in really bad shape. It is really narrow and it doesn’t have any guardrails,” said Ball.
The appropriation of T-County Highway and cash accounts were both approved without discussion.
Utility crossings, claims for payment, and request for blanket purchase orders were all approved.